The Naked Baron – Sally MacKenzie

Jacket Copy:
New to London society and rather…awkward…Lady Grace Belmont would just as soon hide behind the palm trees as dance with a man she doesn’t know. But Baron Dawson is on the hunt for a wife. Grace’s generous curves and remarkable height do not intimidate him. In fact, it would be more accurate to describe his reaction to the charming newcomer as lust.

Before Grace can so much as gather her thoughts, she finds herself in his arms, committing one shocking impropriety after another. The Baron’s devilish attractiveness–to say nothing of his splendid muscles–is simply impossible to resist. Her beloved aunt and chaperone advises patience, but Grace is not about to listen. The handsome baron is whispering such delightful things in her ear…

This is the story of Grace Belmont. She’s a character that briefly appeared in THE NAKED GENTLEMAN. She is the woman who was to marry John Parker-Roth as arranged by her father. However, when on a trip to London with her aunt during her last days of “freedom” she meets David Wilton, Baron Dawson and falls in love, things don’t go as planned. She couldn’t have fallen in love with someone worse. The Wiltons have been a nail in her father’s coffin ever since his fiancée broke their engagement and eloped with David’s father. He proceeded to marry someone else and had Grace but still after more than 30 years the fire of resentment is kept alive and burning.

Sometimes words just refuse to come and this review is one of those times! I really and truly enjoyed the book and the story but the fact that the chronology was off for was so distracting that when I sat down to write this review I had serious trouble focusing in order to write a good and coherent review. And that’s just not fair to the book because I enjoyed reading it and I loved the two romance plots and I loved most of the characters but that’s about all I have inspiration for to tell in this review and that really bugs me. I can’t stand that I can’t seem to combine words and form sentences that will do this book justice. This really doesn’t happen to me often, I’ll go as far and say it has never happened to me before and I do not like this.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way I am going to try to come up with a half decent opinion about TNB because it does deserve that. This book offers two romances for the price of one. There is the romance between Grace and David but parallel to it there’s also the story of Kate (Grace’s aunt) and Alex (David’s Uncle). The common ground between these two romances is that both couples are hindered by the complicated history between the Belmonts and the Wiltons. Even though both love stories are equally represented, there are sections of the book where one or the other takes the center of attention. But at the end this is balanced out and both stories become equally important.

Alex and Kate’s story did affect me more because I found it more endearing and heartbreaking. It had much more conflict and urgency to it. And maybe that is why it made a slightly bigger impression on me than the fresh and young love portrayed by Grace and David’s. I also connected less with they younger couple than I did with Alex and Kate. Is it because they were more mature and experienced? Maybe it was.

So in conclusion I can say I liked reading this book but there were factors that influenced my overall opinion more than I expected, which leads me to my rating of this book. A positive point is that the two stories were interlaced in this same book. Wouldn’t have liked it if either story had been a separate novella. However, I am certain that if THE NAKED BARON had been released before THE NAKED GENTLEMAN and if David and Grace’s story had had the “oomph” that Alex and Kate’s had, it would have rated 4 stars easily.

David about women:
But he didn’t want to wed one of these stick-figure girls. No, he wanted a woman with some meat on her bones. A soft armful –a woman with full breasts and hips who made a comfortable bed herself– sweet, yielding, warm. No, not warm –hot. A woman with a body that made a man forget his own name.

Kate and Alex:
“May I remove your breeches for you?”
“Yes.” He was about to beg her to do so –or to rip them off himself. “Please.”
(…) “May I make a suggestion?” God he was still croaking like a frog –a lust-maddened frog.


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